Yisrael Beiteinu calls to delay Knesset dissolution to allow time to pass new IDF enlistment bill

Lieberman estimates that some 90 MKs will support Yisrael Beiteinu’s purposed law, but coalition chairman Elkin insists on dissolving the Knesset on Monday.

Yisrael Beiteinu has called Sunday for the delay on a vote to dissolve Israel’s Knesset, to allow time to pass the party’s new bill which promotes mandatory enlistment in the Israel Defense Forces for all Israeli citizens.

Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman

Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman - Photo by Olivier Fitoussi

Yisrael Beiteinu MK Robert Ilatov called on coalition chairman MK Zeev Elkin (Likud) to reschedule the vote on dissolving the Knesset from Monday to next week, in order to complete his party’s legislation that would be an alternative to the Tal Law.

Ilatov explained that since most parties of the Knesset stated they would support Yisrael Beiteinu’s bill, there is no rush to dissolve the Knesset when there is a realistic chance to pass the bill before the upcoming elections.

Yisrael Beiteinu chairman Avigdor Lieberman said last week that according to the statements made by some parties of the house, there should be a majority of some 90 MKs supporting the bill, while adding that he would be satisfied with the minimum majority of 61 MKs.

The idea arose after the Knesset’s Legal Advisor Eyal Yinon decided that the Knesset will not be able to vote on a none-governmental bill during its recess, even with the signature of 61 MKs.

After Yisrael Beiteinu’s announcement, Kadima said it supports it and called to vote on the bill as soon as possible. In its statement, Kadima said it calls all the different Knesset parties to take responsibility and pass the mandatory enlistment law in the current Knesset. This is an “historic chance we can’t miss,” the statement said.

However, it seems that both parties are up for a disappointment, since Elkin insists that the vote on the dissolution of the Knesset will be held on Monday. Elkin’s office explained that “there is an agreement with the other parties and we hope everyone would follow it.”

Sources in the Knesset said that there is a possibility some of the parties will back out of the agreement. According to the sources, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is the only one who is interested in the early elections while other parties are expected to be harmed by it.

Israel High Court of Justice ruled in February that the current IDF enlistment law, allowing full-time yeshiva students to defer army service, also known as “Tal Law”, is unconstitutional. The court decided that the law would expire in August.

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By Ophir Bar-Zohar

Read this article in Hebrew.